Creating the Stone Glacier Lifestyle Plaid

Distinctive. Memorable. Simple.

When we decided to explore a lifestyle line, I was confident that Kurt and the product team would develop some fresh, unique designs. Since Stone Glacier’s inception, our products have always exhibited simplistic and bold geometry, unique styling, and a “less is more” mentality.

short sleeve plaid snap shirtThe Breaks Snap Shirt SS in Plains Plaid.

Many people don’t know this, but Kurt did not attend a formal design school. He cut his chops as a high school shop teacher in Alaska, teaching welding and fabrication before heading to the North Slope to work as a master electrician. During his time on the Slope, he taught himself to sow and started Stone Glacier. I feel that time spent behind a welding rod actually influenced the patterning and geometry of our packs. Metal fabrication requires the fabricator to bend and morph hard, bold surfaces into simple, usable shapes. This mentality is easily detected in Kurt’s design philosophy.

Unsurprisingly, everyone was excited when Kurt and his team presented the first round of lifestyle designs. The shirts displayed that same bold geometry but also a slight Western flair that tipped his hat to Kurt’s Montana roots. With the designs headed in the right direction, the topic of colors and patterns came next. We soon realized an off-the-shelf plaid wasn’t going to work. We wanted something that was our own. The hitch: none of us had ever designed a plaid. We’ve designed and produced custom textiles, but this felt different. Enter the SG Art Department.

Designing the Stone Glacier Lifestyle plaid patternsStone Glacier Marketing Director Lyle Hebel designing plaid patterns for the SG Lifestyle line.

Just like Kurt taught himself to sow, we learned the intricacies of designing with thread. I won’t lie: in the beginning, it was a battle. Little by little, it started to click.

Once we cracked the code on the plaid pattern itself, we turned to define our colors. Again, we wanted to tip our hats to our Montana roots and the wild places we visit. Through trial and error, we dialed it in and finally sent the files off for sampling, our fingers crossed that what we saw on the screen and in printouts would match our expectations.

When the samples arrived, we opened the box with excitement. Success? Almost five of the six patterns came out great, maybe even better than we expected. The outlier was a total miss. We quickly revisited the pallet with a solid plan. Two months later, a fresh sample arrived. Perfect.

Choosing the Stone Glacier Lifestyle line plaid patternsA heated debate about lines and colors between Stone Glacier President Jeff Sposito and Marketing Director Lyle Hebel.

At one of the many meetings during the sampling process, SG CEO Jeff Sposito challenged the team to create a fresh mark to honor this new line and the Stone Glacier history. The “Lifestyle Ram” was born.

Although it’s new for us, the SG Lifestyle line stays true to our brand: distinctive, memorable, iconic — and in Stone Glacier tradition — simple.

The Timber Butte Snap Shirt LS in Glacier PlaidSam Davis in the Glacier Plaid Timber Butte Snap Shirt, manning the telehandler while daydreaming about bowhunting.

This story originally appeared in the 2024 Stone Glacier catalog.